India commits $1 million for digital connectivity pilot projects in CLMV (Cambodia, Laos Myanmar and Vietnam) countries as well as decided to have a Start Up festival for the ASEAN countries later this year. Briefing the media persons at the end of the two day India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, MEA) Secretary (East) Preeti Saran on Friday said that the “All the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries were appreciative of India’s role in regional peace, security, and prosperity as well as expressed admiration for India’s growth story.” According to Saran, “We have reaffirmed our commitment to enhance physical and digital connectivity in line with the MPAC 2025 and the AIM 2020 by, among others, availing of the $1 billion line of credit announced by India to promote physical infrastructure and digital connectivity. And we have also agreed to start pilot projects in digital connectivity in the CLMV countries.”
All the leaders agreed to strengthen maritime cooperation through existing relevant mechanisms including the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) to address common challenges on maritime issues. Responding to a question, the secretary east said that, “The leaders have agreed to work in accordance with existing processes and practices, including those of the by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).” At the culmination of year long celebrations of the India-ASEAN 25 years, almost 50 major programmes were held across the region, said Anurag Bhushan, JS, MEA, (ASEAN). The 10 Asean members supported the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and look forward to an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). According to the secretary, during discussions it was decided to intensify efforts in 2018 toward the swift conclusion of a modern, comprehensive, high quality, and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).